Climate Justice

"Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level.”

-United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Climate Change 2007 Synthesis Report

Human activity, such as burning fossil fuels for home heating, transportation and various industrial activities including mining, manufacturing and large-scale farming, is the primary cause of global climate change. Historically, this activity and the resulting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have been the responsibility of the global North, or the wealthy, industrialized nations.

Yet the burden of climate change –extreme weather events, drought, flooding, crop failures, destroyed fisheries and loss of habitat and homeland– is being disproportionately borne by poor and marginalized communities of the global South, peoples who are the least responsible for the changes we are seeing in the world today.

Climate change is thus more than a question of environmental sustainability; it is a question of justice. KAIROS believes that climate justice involves making real reductions in carbon emissions as well as addressing the social and economic inequities between the rich and the poor—both of these are inextricably linked.

Resources from KAIROS

Stay Awake: Reflection for Advent 1 by Jennifer Henry


Jennifer Henry explains why our faith demands that, while we acknowledge the woes of present injustice, we must stay awake for the hope of justice brought about by the vulnerable Advent Hope that entered our world.

People’s Climate March Spurs Hope for Climate Justice: Policy Briefing Paper #40

Desmond Tutu

The latest KAIROS Briefing Paper contrasts the hopeful movement for climate justice symbolized by the People’s Climate March with the slow process of official UN negotiations. It exposes hidden dangers in certain measures that claim to address climate change, and highlights proposals from Archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu that point towards genuine solutions.

Pull Together with Indigenous Nations Challenging the Flawed Review Process for the Northern Gateway Pipeline

Pull Together

Join in solidarity with eight First Nations from British Columbia who have been granted leave by the federal Court of Appeal to apply for a judicial review of the government’s decision to allow the Northern Gateway Pipeline. Given the landmark decision by the Supreme Court last June in the case that affirmed the Aboriginal title and rights of the Tsilhqot’in nation, the courts will be hard pressed not to recognize an infringement of Indigenous rights.

Momentum builds to make Canada Open for Justice

Open For Justice - small

Since the Open for Justice Campaign launched a year ago, 90,000 Canadians have taken action in support of Canadian mining accountability overseas, and there have been more than 65 meetings with Members of Parliament in ridings across the country.

This groundswell of citizen support is making an impact.

Indigenous Wisdom: Living in Harmony with Mother Earth – Policy Briefing Paper #39

BP 39 Ecological Footprint

This summary of our longer study on how the ancestral wisdom of the Indigenous peoples of the Americas can guide us as we face unprecedented challenges from climate change and related ecological crises is now available as a Briefing Paper.

The paper explores Andean peoples’ teachings on how to live well in harmony with the natural world and what Canadians can learn from these teachings.

Justice Camp: Oil/tarsands by Nathan Lodewyk

Alberta Oilsands. Photo by Greg Veltman at Justice Camp 2014.

Are we stuck in the same trap as the people of Babel; building higher and higher not because we should but because we can? In his reflection, Nathan Lodewyk, a young adult from the Christian Reformed Church in North America ponders the “extreme interconnectedness that we all have with the oil/tarsands industry.” Nathan is the second writer KAIROS supported to attend the Anglican Justice Camp in Alberta this summer, and to join the “Faith in the Oil/Tar Sands Developments: Excavating for Deeper Narratives” immersion experience.

A Place Between Cynicism and Idealism by Greg Veltman

Alberta Oilsands.  Photo by Greg Veltman at Justice Camp 2014

As the People’s Climate March on September 21 draws closer, we are mindful of how our use and production of energy effects the earth and all its peoples. Greg Veltman was one of two young adults supported by KAIROS to attend the Anglican Justice Camp in Alberta this summer, and to join the “Faith in the Oil/Tar Sands Developments: Excavating for Deeper Narratives” immersion experience. This is his reflection about the experience.

People’s Climate March

Peoples Climate March

Government leaders from across the globe will be meeting in New York City on September 23 for a one-day United Nations climate summit. The People’s Climate March precedes it on September 21 and will send out a massive, united call for climate justice and a strong climate treaty.

The Great Turning: A Path toward Life by Mark Hathaway

Social Summit for Peoples' Integration  in Bolivia in 2006

Inspired by a passage from Romans, Mark Hathaway tell us that rather than working for change based on what we should not do, or even out of guilt or fear, work for the Great Turning that will be sustainable and fruitful if it is impelled by a deep sense of love and connection with the entire Earth community.

We Do Have Choices

Fort McMurray 031

On the flight to Fort Chip, Jennifer Henry reflects on our energy choices. What will sustain life?